The Green Bay Packers continue their 2022 preseason Friday night when they host the New Orleans Saints.
The two teams held two joint practices earlier this week to prepare for this game. Once again, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is likely to keep Aaron Rodgers and most of the team’s projected starters out of action as players fighting for jobs will take center stage.
Here is a look at 10 Packers players to watch on Friday night when the Packers face the Saints:
- RB Tyler Goodson
Goodson had a strong performance against the 49ers last week, leading all players with 37 rushing yards and catching two passes for 24 more yards. He has made himself the favorite for the third running back spot behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.
Another solid performance by Goodson who showed good burst and the ability to read his blocks well against San Francisco, would help him locked down a roster spot and secure the third running spot at least until Kylin Hill returns from his knee injury.
- OL Caleb Jones
The massive undrafted rookie out of Indiana has quietly played himself onto a spot with the second string offensive line and has now become a dark horse candidate to make the roster. Listed at 6’9” and 370 pounds, Jones would be the biggest player in franchise history if he makes the squad.
Despite his size, Jones has shown himself to be nimble enough to handle a lot of rushers and looked solid in the first preseason contest.
Another strong showing should at least make Jones a likely practice squad candidate.
- TE Tyler Davis
Davis was all the talk of OTAs but thus far, he has struggled in training camp. He was targeted twice in the preseason opener but did not make a catch.
On one of those two targets, Davis had a pass from Jordan Love go right through his hands before it was intercepted to end a Packers scoring threat and set up a 49ers touchdown.
The Packers already cut Dominique Dafney but they brought in other tight ends to compete for a roster spot which may show a lack of confidence in Davis.
This will be a pivotal chance for Davis to get back on track and try to lock down a roster spot.
- OL Zach Tom
Tom has been taking reps with both the second and first team offensive line groups and even after the Packers activated Elgton Jenkins from the PUP list, he has a chance to get into the fight for a spot along the offensive line.
The fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest has lined up at right tackle, left tackle and now left guard during practice. His versatility is something the Packers coaching staff really loves and another strong performance by Tom this week could help him find a spot in the starting lineup or at least establish him as a primary backup.
- WR Amari Rodgers
Amari Rodgers flashed against the 49ers, making a long 50-plus yard kick return and scoring on a 22-yard touchdown pass.
Still, Rodgers needs to be more consistent in his route running to full integrate into the offense and to earn a bigger role there. He also is battling for a spot as the team’s top return specialist. Rodgers needs to show continued progress on Friday against the Saints to solidify his role on this team.
- RB Patrick Taylor
Taylor entered training camp as the favorite to be the third running back after some promising performances down the stretch last season. Taylor has the size and pass catching ability that would fit in well with the offense.
Unfortunately, Taylor has dealt with some minor injuries during training camp and it appears to have set him back a bit. Against San Francisco, Taylor gained only 10 yards on just three carries.
The Packers re-signed Dexter Williams which only adds to the urgency for Taylor to make a good showing against New Orleans to keep himself in the running for a roster spot.
- OL Jake Hanson
Hanson has been splitting time between the first and second string offensive lines. When he’s started, it’s been at right guard and the results in the first preseason game were mixed. Hanson struggled at times on his run blocking and didn’t get much push against opposing defensive linemen.
If Elgton Jenkins returns, Hanson’s chances of starting go down significantly, but he needs to show a little more consistency to lock up a roster spot and take over as the swing interior offensive lineman in the role Lucas Patrick held the past few seasons.
- WR Romeo Doubs
Doubs continues to make some plays nearly every day at practice but he’s also made his share of rookie mistakes which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody.
There has been some tension between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his young receivers that led to a meeting with them on Wednesday. How Doubs and the other young receivers respond to this will be interesting.
Doubs is getting his chance to play now and is making the most of it but fans and the coaching staff will be eager to see if the rookie from Nevada can continue to impress in his second game in a Packers uniform against a good New Orleans defense.
- DL Devonte Wyatt
Wyatt missed the team’s first preseason game due to a concussion but has since returned to practice and looked good on the first day of joint practice against the Saints. This will be his first taste of NFL (preseason) game action and it will be interesting to see how Joe Barry and the coaching staff utilize the big first-round pick out of Georgia.
Wyatt is presently practicing with the second string defensive lineman but has a chance to show the athletic ability and football intelligence that caused the Pack to draft him in the first round in April.
- QB Jordan Love
All eyes will continue to be on Love as he starts his second consecutive preseason contest. Love was inconsistent against San Francisco, showing some more confidence and decisiveness at times while still tossing three interceptions and missing some easy completions at others.
The former Utah State star had a good performance at the second day of joint practices and needs to show more in a game situation.
If all goes according to plan for the Packers, Love won’t take many meaningful snaps during the regular season so he has two preseason games left to show the coaching staff and his teammates what he’s capable of.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
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